Wednesday, February 17, 2010

No Hyperbole About It

I've never posted simply to point people to someone else's blog, but I really think Allie of Hyperbole and a Half could be famous one day.  She's got a huge talent for comedic story telling and mad skills for lunatic illustrations.  She's got a Ralph Steadman thing going with the drawings.  And that's high praise indeed, in my book.

Sweepers, Sweepers: Man Your Brooms

ActivStyle is the latest service sprung up to satisfy the incontinence craze sweeping our nation.  According to the commercial, your "personal incontinence consultant" will guide you through the maze of bowel and bladder control products on the market today, ensuring your needs are met.  Tell me, sir, do you shit your drawers, piss your pants, or both?  Or are you just a dribbler?  I want to be sure I formulate a plan custom made just for you! When I'm finished, we'll plug those leaky holes of yours so tight that there'll be no need for you to carry that mop and bucket around where ever you go anymore ...

Speaking of mopping up, I'm quite fascinated by the sport of curling and have been since I was a little kid.  I grew up about 75 miles south of Vancouver, B.C. back when there was no cable television, so you got whatever channels your rabbit ears could pick up.  In addition to the Seattle network affiliates, we got several Canadian stations and it seemed like curling was on one or the other practically 24/7.  I've lived in Philadelphia almost 25 years and so don't get the chance to see curling much these days, but the arrival of the Winter Olympics brings a bit of my childhood back home to me once again. 

I guess it's curling's strange shuffleboard meets mopping the floor that feeds my interest.  Perhaps it's no accident that the sport has become somewhat of a metaphor for my life at sea: I did lots of mopping and sweeping the decks in the Navy and later ventured out on a couple of short pleasure cruises where you could play shuffleboard, if you were so inclined.  Curling brings those two disparate experiences together for me, tying them together along with the experience of my younger self so taken with the sport from the great white north as a child.

As much as I "enjoy" curling, I'm even more fascinated by cricket, having been glued to the TV for hours watching it from the hotel whenever I'm in Europe.  I think the attraction there is that though I've watched extensively, I'm to this day completely confused by what's going on.  I do know they break for tea several times in the ten years it feels like it takes to complete a match.  They have bowlers and batsmen, and it's vaguely like baseball mixed with croquet.  I'm aware that there's a lot of talk about "overs" and such.  Simply magnificent.

But cricket's for another time.  It's the Winter Olymics now. Sure, it's great to see Lindsey Vonn come through with the Gold, even with a bum shin.  Gold too for mogul chick extraordinaire Hanna Kearney earlier in the week. And Shaun White will do his thing tonight and likely grab the top prize.  But me?  I recorded CNBC's coverage of curling this afternoon and plan to hunker down this later this evening and transport myself back to those childhood days of yore in front of the tube, digging on this sport of kings (well, sport of kings' housekeepers anyway). 

Sweepers, sweepers: man your brooms ... Fellow travelers who are familiar with that siren song understand.